Regional

Illinois to Missouri border.

Officials with Mitsubishi Motors aren't confirming Japanese media reports saying the automaker will stop making vehicles at its central Illinois factory and try to sell the plant.  

Mitsubishi spokesman Dan Irvin based in Normal wouldn't comment beyond saying the company continually reviews its supply chain to make sure it remains competitive.  

Japan's leading business newspaper, the Nikkei, reported the news. Kyodo News also reported the plant will close. Both cited unnamed sources.  

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is approaching three months in office.  He unseated Mike Houston and took over the role his own father, Ossie Langfelder, held for two terms - from 1987 to 1995. While the new mayor hasn't been in office long - he's had time to make appointments, and is working on initiatives like high speed rail, wind energy, and residential development downtown. He spoke with us about all that and more - and starts this interview telling us how the transition of administrations has been so far:  

commons/wikimedia/Public Domain

It was 100 years ago this week that one of Chicago's most tragic events occurred.  844 people died in a horrific scene along the Chicago River.And yet, most have never heard of the Eastland Disaster.

Jason and Jamie Parrott

The mayor of Quincy says his city will remain under a state of emergency for the time being after it was struck by a strong thunderstorm.  

Mayor Kyle Moore said Tuesday that the main streets in Quincy are blocked with fallen trees and live wires. He says those streets should be passable by Wednesday morning and neighborhood streets later in the week.  

A powerful thunderstorm with winds as high as 70 mph tore through the Quincy area Monday night damaging homes and knocking out power to tens of thousands in Adams County.  

Hermann Tourism Office

The town of Hermann, Missouri is located approximately 180 miles away from Springfield, Illinois. 

In our latest midwest travel segment, Mary Bohlen wrote about the town with strong German heritage for Illinois Times. 

She tells WUIS' Sean Crawford there is a lot to see and do, but it's not necessarily a family destination.

Overhead view of CWLP and the Dallman Station.
Google Maps

Local conservationists have long been concerned with various issues surrounding the utility City, Water, Light, And Power and the effect it has on Lake Springfield and the environment. Illinois is one of the most coal-producing states, but even the Springfield mayor is pushing for changes.

University of Illinois Chicago

Springfield residents wanting the city to create "quiet zones" along the Third Street rail corridor want to see some action soon.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with the leader of a petition effort to get changes made on Third Street in order for trains to cut back on whistle blowing.

Giorgio Niro / UIS Alumni magazine

Every day brings news about the Middle East, and its complex political, religious and economic systems.

WUIS

Time flies when you're doing good things.  The Young Philanthropists in central Illinois Springfield is marking its 10th year.  

The Community Foundation For The Land Of Lincoln approached people who were interested in philanthropy, but had not started. That's according to the Foundation's Vice President of Programs Stacy Reed. 

"It's just a way for people to pool their resources," she said. "Everyone contributes $125 to an endowment fund."

The Cleveland Cavaliers changed tactics again, attacking small-ball Golden State Warriors lineups with size, but got the same result in Tuesday's Game 6 of the NBA Finals as in the previous two games: Within two points at the half, they wore down as the game went on, and lost 105-97.

Public Domain

Union members have long been at odds with government in Illinois. They have come out attacking both Democrats and Republicans alike for measures to cut or freeze benefits as the state grapples with its billions of dollars of debt. One historical figurehead in the movement for workers' rights is still highly lauded - Mary Harris Jones, aka Mother Jones

bluffstone.com

Springfield aldermen turned down a plan to use tax increment financing to help develop a downtown student housing project.  The city council unanimously rejected the idea to give 700-thousand dollars.

Illinois Times

That's the question reporter for the Illinois Times Patrick Yeagle asks in his cover story. He explores calls for putting fewer criminals in prison while sending more of them through rehabilitation programs. Yeagle writes about how "tough on crime" efforts of the 80s and 90s are being re-thought, though Illinois has been slow to join other states in revamping policies and laws.

Barack Obama
WUIS/Illinois Issues

There is sure to be an economic benefit to the city of Chicago with the decision to locate the Barack Obama Presidential Center on the city’s south side, but not to the extent a University of Chicago impact study suggested.

Drawing of a Native American
History and Lincoln Collections / University of Illinois Library

Lazy Frenchmen and subjugated Indians: that’s the stereotype of the pre-American French towns along the Illinois side of the Mississippi River valley. Not so, says Robert Michael Morrissey, a history professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The prevailing perception, developed by historian Francis Parkman, had two components: The French were lazy, anarchic fops dependent on French imperial authorities for direction and support. And they made the technologically inferior Indians dependent on European tools and weaponry.

Hillard Family photo in field
Tonya Hilliard

Last year, Illinois was one of a handful of states that lost population. The out migration became a campaign issue in the governor’s race last year and has some throwing up caution flags. But the numbers don’t mean there is a crisis, or even a real clamor, to leave the state.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

When it comes to shopping, I'm not a fan. Take me to a thrift store however, and I can dig around for hours in search of the perfect bargain. My house is decorated in odd old knick knacks and paintings from antique malls and second-hand stores. It's not unusual that most of what I am wearing is from Goodwill.

Brent Bohlen

Just over the border into Indiana sits the town of Vincennes.  The relatively small community boasts a big name as its favorite son.  Comedian Red Skelton hailed from Vincennes and, if you visit, you can learn a lot about his life and career.  An interactive museum shows off props from some of his most favorite characters. 

flickr/lewismarien

Employees with a dredging contractor are working around the clock to remove sediment from the bottom of Lake Decatur as part of a $91 million project.  

The Decatur City Council approved the six-year project last February. It's being carried out by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock and is expected to increase the lake's capacity by 30 percent.  

The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports that a 220-foot dredge collects sediment and pushes it about eight miles through a submerged pipeline to a 523-acre sediment site in Oakley.  

Watch Decatur City Limitless

Photo: Gary Price

This year marks the 40th anniversary since the fall of Saigon.  An event coming up tomorrow night will provide accounts of the war:

  • May 19, Vietnam: First Encounters

A panel discussion on the fall of Saigon in April 1975. Panel members include Tom Jones, a Navy Corpsman assigned to the Marines; Tom Bowman, an Army enlisted man; and two Vietnamese boat people, Patrick Lam and Pham Thien Khoc, an officer in the South Vietnamese Army. Moderated by Mark DePue, head of the presidential library’s Oral History Program.

www.imrf.org/volunteering

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund – a local government pension fund, is pushing an effort this year to get more of their members to help out others. We spoke with the head of IMRF, Louis Kosiba, about it:

For more info, click here.

Landmarks Illinois

One of Springfield’s oldest homes faces demolition unless a new owner is found.  The Condell House on South Fourth Street has been vacant for about 30 years.

Steve Myers Vice Chairman of the Springfield Historic Sites Commission says the goal is to find a new owner soon before a part of history is gone.

Burpee Museum of Natural History

Freelance travel writer Mary Galligan's latest article in the Illinois Times focuses on Rockford and the museums based there. 

She visited the Rockford Discovery Center Museum, considered one of the top children's museums in the country. 

The Burpee Museum of Natural History has an impressive display of dinosaur exhibits. 

Stephenson County Animal Control officials say a northern Illinois woman charged with animal cruelty has turned 84 dogs over to officials.  

 Animal Control Warden Kristen Laue said 45-year-old Tina McKinnon of Freeport turned the dogs over Wednesday.  
 

According to the Journal Standard in Freeport,  McKinnon was charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals after the animals were found in her home March 16.  
 

WUIS

The University of Illinois Springfield will celebrate Earth Week (April 20-24, 2015) with a variety of events designed to educate students, faculty, staff, and the community about the environment.

All of the events listed below are free and open to the public.

Monday, April 20 

flickr/JeffCovey

Heavy rains in the spring often lead to complaints in Springfield over water in basements.  This mostly happens in older areas of the community.

"Most of the system was never designed to be able to transport or convey 50 year storms.  it was more designed on a 5 or 10 year storm. That being said, there are places in the city that don't perform on a 5 or 10 year system either," said Sewer Engineer John Higginbotham with Springfield Public Works.

Let Freedom Ring March

Apr 9, 2015

Bells rang out as students made their way from President Abraham Lincoln's home to the Old State Capitol. 

April marks the month that both Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated.

I talked with one of the parent educators from Jefferson Middle School; Monica Walls Butler says it's important for young people to know their history. 

Can you really know someone you've never met?  Chris McDonald developed a bond with a man who lived a century ago through reading letters he had written, many from the front lines of World War I. 

McDonald worked with the family of Kent Dunlap Hagler to publish the works, which are far more literary than most teenagers could accomplish, now or then.  The book "Three Lying Or Four Sitting - From The Front In A Ford" takes its title from Hagler's time with a military ambulance unit.  It's references how many could be transported at a time.  

Langfelder campaign

Springfield's next mayor will be Jim Langfelder.

Langfelder defeated Paul Palazzolo 55-45 percent. Langfelder, who has served as City Treasurer, will replace Mike Houston.  Only about one third of registered voters turned out in Springfield. 

Frank Lesko topped Rianne Hawkins for City Clerk.  

Misty Buscher, a banker, won for Springfield Treasurer.  She beat city alderman Frank Edwards. 

Springfield councilman Sam Cahnman lost his bid for re-election in Ward 5 to Andrew Proctor.  

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